Offshore wind considered a great source of energy

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Windmills at a utility plant in Atlantic City NJ (AP file photo / Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ – The federal government has determined that the process of assessing ocean sites in New York and New Jersey for offshore wind power projects will not significantly harm the environment.

The determination comes as New Jersey acts aggressively to claim its status as an east coast offshore wind center. It has so far approved three offshore wind projects and many more are in the planning stages.

The three projects combined aim to provide enough electricity to power more than 1.6 million homes. New Jersey has set a goal of producing 100% of its energy from clean sources by 2050 and plans to apply for additional wind power projects every two years until at least 2028.

The federal government has set a goal of approving enough offshore wind projects nationwide by 2030 to produce 30 gigawatts of electricity – enough to power 10 million homes.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management said it has completed an environmental review of the types of activities needed to study offshore wind sites.

The review only covers the investigative phase of wind projects, including biological, archaeological, geological and geophysical studies and the taking of core samples from the ocean floor, as well as the placement of weather buoys.

This is not a final environmental approval for individual wind projects, which will need to be done separately for each development. But it allows developers to move forward with planning ambitious offshore wind projects in the region, called New York Bight.

“BOEM strives to ensure that all development in the New York Bight is carried out responsibly and in a manner that avoids or minimizes impacts to the ocean and other ocean users in the region,” said agency director Amanda Lefton in a statement.


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